I've never taken a selfie.
Okay, that’s a lie. I took one once, when I was visiting Washington D.C. I read one time that you should never take a picture of something without someone in it….that you are more likely to keep pictures that have people in them. So I took a selfie in front of Mt. Vernon. It was the only time during that trip that I was alone and couldn’t ask anyone to take a picture of me. I have also taken some selfies of daughter and me. My husband and I took some selfies on our honeymoon because if we asked the Jamaicans at the resort to take our picture, they would make us stand and pose like we were about to head off to the prom. My husband and I also took a “First Christmas Eve that our child realizes that Santa is coming” selfie.
I’m not sure that all of those incidents count as an actual “selfie” though.. Have I ever taken a picture of myself, for example, in my car and put it on Facebook? No. I'm a little too self-conscious for that. (PSA - if you are one that does that, PLEASE make sure you are not actually driving while selfie-ing. I get slightly angry when I see a selfie of someone on Facebook and I can see a blur of passing trees and cars out the window in the background. I value my life and the lives of the passengers that may be in my car.)
When Anna and I decided to add the ‘selfie’ element to our mission this month, we didn’t consider WE would actually have to do it too! We are both very uncomfortable with the thought of taking a “mirror selfie” and posting it to social media. So when I got my shirt, I put it on and tried to find a mirror in my house without little tiny handprint smudges all over it. Needless to say, after I put the shirt on, I had to get out the Windex. After it was cleared of the remnants of my daughter, I stood there. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t notice myself at first. I noticed the DISASTER of a bedroom behind me. How could I let people see how I REALLY live? Clothes that need to be folded on the chair, an unmade bed, 3 shoes in the floor, the trail of Cheerios that my two year old left for me this morning. So I started cleaning. TO TAKE A SELFIE. What was wrong with me? Am I so ashamed of my life that I didn’t want people to see a glimpse of it? Raise your hand if your bedroom looks similar to what I just described? Nobody right? ;) That’s what I thought.
Now, the next thing I’m going to tell you is very hard for me to admit. I’m not proud of it…ashamed actually. But I think this bit of information is very important for the mission that God has laid on our hearts this month.
I took 42 pictures of myself. Forty. Two. Pictures.
The only difference in each picture was that my head is slightly tilted or my hair was behind my ear, or my phone was angled down or up or whatever way. As I was scrolling through my options trying to decide which one to display for the world (or our small audience) to see, I began to cry. What is wrong with me? Why did I waste my time taking 42 of the EXACT SAME PICTURE. Am I that concerned with my outward appearance? I’m not even what the picture is about! It’s about the shirt! It’s about the word that we want to spread! It’s about The WellHouse and it’s residents. 42 pictures!?
“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) After digging myself out of the black hole of selfies, I did the only thing I knew to do. I prayed. I asked God to concern me with my heart, rather than my outward appearance, just like He did for Samuel. We live in a world of vanity. It’s everywhere and it is so easy to be sucked in to the madness. When did I start to let the way I look overtake the way I act? What if all of that wasted time worrying about a picture was spent playing and laughing with my child? Or having a conversation with my husband? Guess what else. My daughter was with me in the bedroom the entire time this was going on. So what did she see? She saw a mother, who is beautiful in her precious eyes, act in vanity and frustration. What is that teaching her? Anna talked in our last blog about what you can do. It all starts in the home. What kind of example was I setting for my child?
In her book "What Happens When Women Walk in Faith", Lisa TerKeurst says this:
"God looks at your heart for Him most of all. How quick we are to condemn ourselves and think we can never measure up! God sees you are trying. He knows when you are doing the best you can...Of course, we can do all the work on our character and our actions as we constantly seek to become more like Christ. But we also must give Him time to work on us from the inside out, molding and shaping our hearts according to His design."
Throughout my life, I have been exponentially blessed with people who love me and want me to know how beautiful I am. Also, growing up, God was placed at the center of our home, not vanity. To my parents, I am eternally thankful for that. But I also know that everyone did not have the life that I did. So that’s where we come in. In Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians, he tells them to encourage one another! Build one another up! (1 Thessalonians 5:11) Where is that today? In my humble opinion, we have drifted a long way from encouraging one another. That’s why we have taken on the “seflie” as part of our mission this month. Help us make the selfie GOOD! Help us make it about your heart, rather than your appearance.
If you had the opportunity to buy a shirt, when you receive it there will be a note inside the package. This note will tell you to take a selfie. We encourage you to do this and guess what? POST IT on social media! I personally encourage you to take only 1. Let the world see you the way God sees you. You are beautiful and you are beloved! All of God’s children are! Not because of your outward appearance, but because of your heart.
Just one more thought…wouldn’t it be wonderful to start seeing “do-ies” instead of “selfies”? Because isn’t that our mission? To DO GOOD? DO GOOD for your family, DO GOOD for your friends. DO GOOD for God.
Love & Blessings,